|Move Over, Men!|
Part 3: My favorite lesson was the man-overboard drills on our last day.
Story and Photos by Eileen Mansfield - January 2004
After practicing that day and part of the next, we were ready to move on. While cruising down to Marina Jacks in Sarasota, Moore taught us about everything from navigation (paper and electronic), to using the radio, to the Rules of the Road. Later that afternoon we began one of our many extensive lessons on docking, at first practicing next to a piling out in the middle of nowhere.
Each morning Moore would hold lessons in the saloon, and we’d practice what we learned in the afternoon. This was a far more effective way to teach than someone shouting instructions from the flying bridge as the boat is quickly approaching the dock. As the week went on, we learned about maintenance and did daily checks on the engine. We learned how to lay out a course and to provision for a trip. We learned about line handling and knot tying. And we continued to work on docking until all five of us were comfortable not only pulling in side-to, but also backing the 42-footer into a tight finger slip.
My favorite lesson was the man-overboard drills on our last day. Moore instructed us on how to stop the boat, then turn and pick up the person in the water. She also taught us the importance of the spotter and how we should try to throw a flotation device to the MOB immediately. After the lesson we tied two water bottles together with a rope, named the float after a certain boat rep that insists on calling women “Mama” at boat shows, and threw “him” overboard. We each took turns at the helm while the others worked as spotters or rescuers. Our adrenaline was pumping, and we were taking it very seriously—that is until we erupted into a fit of laughter after one of my classmates proceeded to throw not only the PFDs but almost every seat cushion overboard to save the water bottles.
As we went around and around “rescuing” all the seat cushions, I felt lucky not only for having had this opportunity to learn so much about boating in such a relaxed environment, but also to have met five fascinating women.
Call for pricing and schedules of powerboating classes, held in different states.
Sea Sense Phone: (800) 332-1404. www.seasenseboating.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.